DIY Project: Twill Woven Stool

This practical little footstool brings a pop of color and graphic pattern to a room with its bright woven surface. The simple twill weave creates diagonal bands, giving you the opportunity to to turn stripes into chevrons or diamonds just by reversing the pattern. –Natalie

Photos above by Max Tielman

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

A note on materials: Paper cord can also be called fiber rush or paper rush. Here I’ve used a 12×14 inch frame, with 50 yards of 3/16 inch persimmon paper cord as the “warp” and 25 yards of white “weft.” The project can readily be sized up, or woven with Danish cord or macrame cord.


stool frame
-paper cord
-furniture or flat head tacks
-scissor clamps
-optional: polyurethane or paint for the stool frame

d_s footstool.1


Begin by prepping the footstool frame with any paint or sealant you like – I gave this one a few coats of polyurethane.

To attach the warp (the dominant color, persimmon in this case) to the frame, push a tack through the middle of the cord and hammer it into the frame, inside one of the upper rails. Wrap the cord around the rail perpendicular to its attachment, then across the top of the stool and opposite rail. Continue winding the cord around these two rails, packing each wrap closely together, forming the top of the footstool. After about 4-5 wraps, pull the cord as taught as you can and clamp it with a scissor clamp. Continue in this fashion, tightening the cord and moving the clamp up until about 3 inches of open space remain.

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Attach the “weft” (the white cord) with a tack to the inside of the rail, where it will be covered by the completed warp. Continue winding the warp cord until the space is filled, tighten it, and attach the end with a tack to the rail parallel to the lines of cord.

d_s footstool.6

To weave the footstool top, lace the weft cord through the completed warp. I have used a 3 over/ 3 under pattern, but you can use what pattern you like – 1/3, 2/2, or 5/4 for example. The more cords the weft passes over, the more visible that color will be in the completed pattern.

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Pull the whole length of weft cord through the warp in its pattern, wrap around the underside, tighten, and push as close the bottom edge of the warp as possible. For the second row, work in the same pattern as the first (3/3 in this case), but shifted 1 warp cord over. This shift will create the diagonal stripe. Continue in this manner until the entire top is woven, using an awl to help you over the last few inches as the tension increases.

To alter the pattern at any point in the weaving, simply reverse the shift. I did this about a third of the way along, creating a line of symmetry or arrow. Reversing multiple times will create a chevron or herringbone pattern, and adding a perpendicular axis of symmetry will create a striped diamond.

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Atkinson’s Country House
Frank’s Cane & Rush Supply
Paper Mart
Basket Maker’s Catalogue

  1. Skorsten says:

    It seems to be quite easy to do! nice stool and nice idea, thank you!

  2. Jessica says:

    where’s a good place to locate a wooden stool frame?

  3. Rebecca M says:

    I second Jessica’s question…where do I get a stool frame? I’d like to add this to my Summer Project List :)

  4. Leslie says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I have the perfect spot for a small stool in my foyer, but not the perfect stool (yet).

  5. Natalie says:

    This looks awesome! Thanks for a great tutorial for a project that I’d actually want to make and have!

  6. Diynovice says:

    Where does one find said stool frame? Besides that missing piece of information, this post is one for my growing folder of DIY projects I have bookmarked.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi guys! the stool was listed in the credits at the end of the post, but here’s a direct link:

      grace :)

  7. Dane says:

    That stool looks so nice! I like how simple and fun it looks.

  8. docteurwood says:

    Great idea! Simple, easy and beautiful. Thanks for this tutorial :)

  9. One more great thing about D-S posts–I am now introduced to a whole new area of great DIY projects. I would love to do that footstool in brown and turquoise– Maybe paint the frame a soft eggshell buttermilk first. I love this!

  10. Taylor says:

    Such an awesome DIY! I can’t wait to try this out for my home!


  11. Sariah says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter here. This is such a great DIY I had to de-lurk. I would love to know how long this took you? I’m going to look into plastic cord or something more durable, I think my toddler would destroy this fast.

  12. Erica D. says:

    ARGH!!! Why oh why did I drop 70 bucks on a similar Target stool that I just had to have?! I never would have thought you could buy a pre-made stool frame.

  13. Marie says:

    Oh wow – this is great! It’s my first time on this site, and I don’t have a ton of time. Is there someone you’d recommend who makes these great DIY items?

  14. EZ says:

    I’m currently using this method on some bar stools that I have, and I’m finding it extremely difficult to weave the long length of weft through every time. Did you use shorter lengths, and tack them throughout? Or did you pull the entire length through every time?  Thanks!


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